7 Tips for Beating the Mommy Blues
Feeling down, anxious, fatigued, irritable or extra clingy with your child? These could be signs of separation anxiety; A.K.A. “the mommy blues”. As work hours feel longer as the days get shorter, feelings of emptiness, sadness, and a longing to be home with your child can become overwhelming. New reports, however, suggest that stay-at-home moms may be more vulnerable to depression because of the isolation factor that working mom’s don’t experience. Here are some tips to help overcome both stay-at-home and working ‘mommy blues.’
The mommy blues are quite normal and you shouldn’t feel you have to keep your emotions a secret. If you are a stay-at-home mom, join a support group of women just like yourself with whom you can share experiences. Some good options include: Mommy & Me and MOPS International (Mothers of Preschoolers).
Admitting feelings of regret and loneliness can be difficult to express to a partner for fear they will feel at fault. But being open and honest about your motherly woes with your partner will help you feel less alone and more in control of your feelings.
Surprisingly, many foods act as natural antidepressants. Try eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables while limiting coffee, alcohol, and sugar. Adapting a fresher and healthier diet will also be a great way to help the whole family be more nutritious.
Inadequate sleep can be a serious mood killer. Getting to bed earlier will help boost serotonin production and ensure a happier morning, since serotonin production happens in the last two hours of an eight-hour sleep cycle.
Reflecting on the events of your day can help put your emotions in perspective. Writing about your motherly feelings and experiences will help you feel connected. And writing down positive emotions and memories can help you feel more at peace with your life and can help reshape your attitude. Brief journaling sessions can even aid in self-discovery, new goals and motivation.
Regardless of whether you are a stay-at-home mom or you work every day, become involved with other parental activities–particularly those involving your kids. Volunteer for school events, be a chaperone, or help car pool. This will help you be more in tuned with your kid’s outside life and activities, and you will have a support network with other moms.
Personal achievement and valuable skills perpetuate self-confidence, so learning something new will help nurture positive feelings about yourself–and fill the time you were used to spending with your child. Take a class, play an instrument, learn a new language or learn to cook something difficult.